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The Twisted Citadel: DarkGlass Mountain: Book Two (DarkGlass Mountain Series) Mass Market Paperback – April 28, 2009

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

A hefty and welcome glossary of characters connects this sophomoric second installment of the DarkGlass Mountain trilogy to its predecessor, 2007's The Serpent Bride. Maximilian, king of Escator, and his former queen, Ishbel, struggle to decide whether to repair or fully end their romance, while Isaiah, Maximilian's military leader, and Axis SunSoar, a heroic winged Icarii enchanter, debate how to combat the demonic god Kanubai, who has been absorbed into the DarkGlass Mountain and now poses an even greater threat. Those familiar with Douglass's earlier Axis Trilogy may savor the intricate interplay between humans, Icarii and their mysterious Lealfast cousins, and the Gollum-like Skraelings, but grisly scenes frequently disrupt the flow of the story, and Douglass's chatty abandonment of epic tone (You are in a pickle, Maximilian) often snaps the necessary suspension of disbelief. Maximilian's weariness over endless wandering that gets him nowhere proves an apt metaphor for the story. (June)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


“...a dark, sensuous first in a new fantasy series...” (Publishers Weekly)

“Douglass continually surprises.” (Publishers Weekly)

“Epic storytelling on a par with Terry Goodkind and Robert Jordan.” (Library Journal on The Wayfarer Redemption)

“...the ultimate for fans of Sara Douglass’ ...” (The Advocate)
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Product Details

  • Series: DarkGlass Mountain Series (Book 2)
  • Mass Market Paperback: 656 pages
  • Publisher: Harper Voyager; Reprint edition (April 28, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060882182
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060882181
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 1.3 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #276,496 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Sara Douglass was born in Penola, South Australia, and spent her early working life as a nurse. Rapidly growing tired of starched veils, mitred corners and irascible anaesthetists, she worked her way through three degrees at the University of Adelaide, culminating in a PhD in early modern English history. Sara Douglass currently teaches medieval history of La Trobe University, Bendigo and escapes academia through her writing.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Rachel on August 24, 2009
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I loved Sara Douglass's earlier novels, especially the six that comprise the Wayfarer Redemption series. The "Darkglass Mountain" series is a continuation of that saga, with a few of the characters returning. "The Twisted Citadel" and its predecessor, "The Serpent Bride," are certainly better than the "Troy Game" series (which started well, but I found quite tedious by Book 3), and the dreadful "Crucible" trilogy, which I couldn't finish.

To give Douglass her due, she is very good at creating a vivid fantasy world, peopled with interesting and often bizarre characters. Her plotting is intricate (I won't attempt to summarise it here) and generally holds the attention, though I confess I found "The Twisted Citadel" quite slow moving at times, and I had a sense of deja vu in respect of the plot, too: eg. Maximilian's distrust of Ishbel parallels Axis's attitude to Azhure in the first of the "Axis" books, although most likely this was deliberate. Douglass's flair for description is very much evident, and she certainly doesn't spare the reader during the darker moments of the novel.

What bothered me about "The Twisted Citadel" though was the quality of the prose, which is unfortunately a bit patchy. I am not sure whether the writing style has deteriorated, or whether it was always like that and I just notice it more than when I first started reading her novels.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Harriet Klausner #1 HALL OF FAME on June 1, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Escator King Maximilian and his former Queen Ishbel battle their strong feelings for one another. However, both have doubts about reheating their romance as the first time it ended sadly and though they care for one another they both fear it will end badly again.

At the same time the rulers debate the merits of their on and off relationship, Escator's military chieftain Isaiah and the Icarii enchanter Axis SunSoar plot strategy to fight the powerful evil demonic god Kanubai. Since DarkGlass Mountain has absorbed Kanubai, the demon has become even more dangerous to the country and this malevolence is growing stronger. Both Isaiah and Axis know they must act promptly before it is too late; their fear is that it is already too late.

Although not as strong as the Axis Trilogy or the first DarkGkss Mountain entry (see THE SERPENT BRIDE), THE TWISTED CITADEL is predominantly a middle book quest fantasy. Still bone weary and mentally exhausted Maximilian makes the tale with his tired muses that being a hero and champion is not fun; he just wants to stay home for a change and ignore his responsibility of battling evil. The cast is solid regardless of species especially the human and Icarii team-up and the story line is fast-paced, but progress in spite of some vividly described encounters is limited as this second act mostly sets up the grand finish.

Harriet Klausner
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By T. Edmund on April 17, 2012
Format: Hardcover
After my scathe-view of The Serpent Bride (DarkGlass Mountain, Book 1) its probably not surprising that I rate Twisty City a little higher (no-where to go but up right?)

The story continues with characters Axis, Maxis, and several names beginning with I that this reviewer struggled to distinguish between.

There's also a new villain in town, which kinda makes the first book's bad-guy build-up redundant, and a mysterious race addition to the world.

All in all though the series continues to fall flat - the plot seems to consist of the good guys trying to get their love triangles sorted before the badguy initiates his sinister plans (I may have summarised epic fantasy plots all over)

And dare I criticise the humour inserted into this book like a 3rd encounter butt-probe? Super-powered rats, the evil Skraelings acting like comedic Despicable Me (Single-Disc Edition) minions?

The worst thing about this series, and if my memory serves Douglas has done this before, if the good-guys ability to fix everything with a bit of love and magic. Just whenever I think the stakes have been raised at all, it turns out that: no there is no dramatic tension, before good will win out in the end, by inexplicable powers not seen before today (and in terms of bringing people back from mortal injuries, certainly not used on minor characters!)
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By HunnyBunchzOfOatz on April 19, 2012
Format: Mass Market Paperback
When I bought this book I'd never read any of Douglass' other books, or even heard of her. I found this book at Big Lots and after some doubts about buying the second book in a series I'd never read, by an author I wasn't aware of, I decided, "Why not? It's only a couple of bucks." Well, to put it mildly, I was amazed at how much I loved this book, especially it being the second in the series, and I immediately went on the hunt for the other two, which I loved just as much.

Familiar books, although favorites, were becoming tedious after so many readings. I couldn't seem to find any new authors or books that were intriguing from the very beginning, like old favorites, but this book pleasantly surprised me. For some reason the characters, lands, magic, mysteries, and overall storyline of these books gave me the kick I had been looking for, that new-found wonder and awe of discovering an entirely new universe that you can't stop talking about to others, even when they don't understand or care.

Some have said it may be hard to understand this series if you haven't read some of Douglass' earlier books, but I didn't seem to have any troubles. I read the six books in The Wayfarer Redemption series after reading the DarkGlass Mountain Trilogy and wasn't disappointed. However, depending on the book, I don't mind if the story includes the outcome of a different book, mainly because I tend to ignore things like that (selective reading instead of selective hearing?) and become engrossed in the main story of a particular book if I like it; then, when I do read the other book, I think, "That's what that meant!"

I also noticed that some didn't enjoy the Axis characters sharing the spotlight with DarkGlass Mountain characters.
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The Twisted Citadel: DarkGlass Mountain: Book Two (DarkGlass Mountain Series)
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